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page 32 She said she was taken to Ifesinachi at Utako and the trafficker went and bought bus ticket for her to return to Onitsha.…

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She said she was taken to Ifesinachi at Utako and the trafficker went and bought bus ticket for her to return to Onitsha. “After handing the ticket to me, she promised to kill me any other time she saw me,” she added.

She said she wondered what would become of the other girls if she kept quiet about the degradation they were facing every day, satisfying the sexual orgies of the old men that thronged the hotel daily.

Daniel said immediately Chinwe left her at the bus station, she decided to speak with someone about the problem and she went to meet the manager of the park.

She added that after narrating her ordeal to the manager, the manager immediately took her to Utako police station and the police at Utako, led by the divisional police officer immediately swooped on the hotel and the girls were rescued while the manager of the hotel was arrested but the traffickers escaped before the police arrived.

From uptown districts of Abuja like Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse, Garki, Jabi and Utako down to the satellite suburbs of Karu, Kubwa, Lugbe, Dei-Dei and Idu-Karmo etc, commercial sex trade continues to flourish in spite of measures by the previous ministers to clamp down on its practitioners.

The rescued underage girls looked young, beautiful and innocent but they had been coerced or enticed into the grimy business of prostitution.

And for such young girls like those, it was always a marvel while they chose to enslave their bodies and minds to prostitution while they could have toed the line of Precious.

Susan from Akwa Ibom State lied that she was 20 years old when our reporter enquired about her age but looking at her, one would know that she is between the ages of 13 or 14 years. She said that her poor condition made her to join the ‘hustling business.

In her words, “When my mother was sick, I had nobody to go to. I wanted to do any menial job to get some money. As I was walking down our street that morning, I saw Madam Shakara who stopped me and asked me why I was walking and crying. I told her my story; she told me that she was going to help me only if I followed her to Abuja. I ran back home, packed few of my clothes, told my mother that I would make sure that I get some money for her upkeep no matter what.”

She said Madam Shakara brought her to Abuja, and informed her that she was coming to hustle and that it was a stranger who first had sex with her that took her ‘priced’ virginity.

But she told said she had no regrets as she was able to fulfill the promises she made to her mother that she would fend for her.

Another girl who called herself Funke also stated that nobody forced her into prostitution and that when Aunty Chinwe brought her to Abuja, she knew what she was coming to do.

“If I don’t hustle, how will I get money to take care of myself and my family? I need to hustle and make ends meet. It is my body; I could as well do with it whatever I wanted,” she retorted.

The Utako divisional police officer, said he acted immediately he got the information because he is a father, a brother and a husband and he wouldn’t want to see any female dehumanized.

“Some people are disadvantaged but it is not proper for anyone to take advantage of their situation and reduce them to nothingness. We are seriously looking for Madam Shakara and Aunty Chinwe who are on the run but we will track them down. We are going to transfer them to force headquarters as soon as we get signal to do so but at the moment, investigations continue,” he said.

He also said that he is working with Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to stamp out this criminal practice and to dislodge prostitutes from Utako and its environs.

‘I decided to learn tailoring to make up for my lack of education’

By Olayemi John-Mensah, Eseohe Ebhota & Zeenat

Abdulazeez

Twenty-four year-old Sima Gado can only boast of first school leaving certificate but he said in an interview with Aso Chronicle that his tailoring skills have made up for his lack of education. He spoke to our reporters in Chibiri village of Kuje Area Council of FCT.

What is your motivation about this work?

I decided to learn tailoring after my primary school because my parents couldn’t afford the money to send me to secondary school.

How is patronage considering that this is a village?

I do get customers very well. In fact, I do get contracts from different schools to sew their pupils’ and students’ uniform even as far as in Abuja city. The contract I am working on now is for a secondary school in Kuje and another one from Jabi in town.

I am able to get these contracts through those I had worked for in the past. They refer them to me because of the neatness of my work.

How much do you charge per uniform?

I charge N400 per uniform. The higher, the quantity the higher the profit. The one I am doing now is at least 50 pieces.

Do you also train others?

Yes, I have two trainees who are students. They do the training after school hours. The training is done free. I don’t charge them anything. Most of them that I trained their parents normally come here and beg me to help train them. Since they are willing to learn and this is a village, most of them may not have the capability to pay any amount of money.

How much capital did you use to start this business?

I started with N10,000, which I used to buy my first machine and other materials like; thread, needles, scissors and so on.

Have you ever taken loan to support your business?

I have not taken loan but if I have the opportunity, I will because I would love to move to Kuje to continue my business there.

What is your profit in a month?

I have a profit of about N15,000 in a month. Having taken care of the necessary things. I also help my brothers who are into farming when they need money for their farming activities and those ones in school, I also assist.

Do you have any plan of still going to school?

Everything depends on money. If I have the capability I will still go back to school.

Where do you see yourself in the next two years?

I want my business to be bigger than this with more machines to work with and more people in training.

What are the challenges you face with this work?

Sitting down on the machine gives body pain; chest pain, back pains and the likes. Then in the issue of getting materials, I don’t get them here, I have to go to the town or Kuje to get them.

What advice do have for fellow youths out there?

I will advise them to engage themselves in one or two things that are impactful and lucrative in order to keep them busy.

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